South Dakota drought conditions looking completely different than this time last year Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– A 180 degree change in the weather.

On Thursday, the drought monitor for South Dakota was updated for the last time this month, showing that 94.41% of the state is affected by drought. Last year, only about 9% of the state was affected by drought.

The report shows that, as of this week, 10.38% of the state is in the D3-D4 category. 32.88% of South Dakota is in D2-D4 and 75.22% is in D1-D4. 5.59% is experiencing no drought. Most of the state is in D1 or moderate drought which means topsoil is dry and the cattle industry can be under stress.

D4 is the worst condition with DO being the least impactful.

D4 may require producers to haul water for cattle and require burn bans. With DO, grain and pasture growth is stunted.

For levels D1-D3, the damage to crop can increase and water levels continue to drop. Also, producers may start selling cattle and increase those sales as conditions worsen.

The extreme northwestern and extreme north central parts of the state along the borders with North Dakota have the worst drought conditions.

This is compared to last week’s report, which showed 93.22% of the state experiencing drought conditions: 20.73% being in the D3-D4 category, 38.18% in the D2-D4, 72.99% in D1-D4 and 6.78% experiencing no drought.

The monitor reported that at estimate 621,214 people are in drought areas across the state.

The drought monitor has not experienced any drastic changes from week-to-week this past month, which is also true of last year.

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